Koreans dethroned as USA triumph
© AFP

The USA are the new women's world champions at U-20 level after defeating Korea DPR 2-1 in the final of Chile 2008. Goals from the strike pairing of Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan were enough to see them over the line, the Koreans responding with a lone strike in injury time.

The new champions started the game nervously, giving away possession and lacking cohesion. Korea DPR had the first two chances of the game; on seven minutes, Ri Jong Sim's header from five yards flew just wide, while ten minutes later Ra Un Sim found herself free in front of goal, but her hesitation allowed USA defender Nikki Marshall to clear in the nick of time.

Gradually the Americans worked their way back into the game, and they took the lead on 23 minutes. After Ri Un Hyang had failed to clear the ball properly, Keelin Winters sent an adroit pass through to Sydney Leroux, and the striker notched her fifth goal of the tournament, firing the ball just under the crossbar from the edge of the penalty box.

There were two more chances for the USA in the succeeding minutes, Leroux almost taking her tally to six and Christine Nairn stinging the hands of Kim Un Ju from 22 yards. It took a moment of individual brilliance to double the USA's lead, however: Alex Morgan took off on an inspired run, beating three Korean defenders before slamming a left-footed shot into the top corner of the net. A brilliant goal, worthy of a final.

After the break, the USA showed their defensive resilience as the Koreans were largely limited to shots from distance. There were three half-chances after the hour in quick succession, one for Korea DPR and two for the USA, but subsequently the Americans slowed the tempo and took control, passing the ball around calmly and not allowing their opponents too much possession.

In injury time, Ri Ye Gyong played Cha Hu Nam in on goal nicely, and the latter volleyed home for Korea DPR's consolation goal. But it was too late: the USA are U-20 women's world champions.